Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Mann Page, 2 April 1781

From Mann Page

Mann’s field April 2nd. 1781

Dear Sir

I received your Favour of the 28th. ulto. and should have conformed to your Opinion of not commencing any Law Process against Mr. Bell, if he had not, after being apprized of my Application to you for an Order to recover my Horse, rode him on his own private Business into Orange County. But he appeared to have been insolent as well as arbitrary in the Exercise of his Power. I therefore beg the Favour of you to send the enclosed to the Attorney General, whom I have directed to proceed with the utmost Rigor against Bell.

I am, Sir, with the greatest Esteem Your mo: obdt. hble. servt.,

Mann Page

RC (Vi); addressed and endorsed. Enclosure not found.

TJ’s favour of the 28th ulto., which has not been found, was written in response to a letter from Page, also not found, “complaining of the conduct of Lieutenant Henry Bell in impressing a horse of his which was valued at nine thousand five hundred pounds” (Va. Council Jour. description begins Journals of the Council of the State of Virginia, ed. H. R. McIlwaine description ends , ii, 321). TJ laid Page’s complaint before the Council on 28 Mch. and the following action was taken, which presumably corresponds to the substance of TJ’s missing letter to Page of that date: “The Board advise that the said Lieutenant Bell and all other persons who are impressing horses for the Dragoons of any corps under colour of a Warrant from the Executive or any other power be required to desist from impressing any horse which shall be valued to more than fifty pounds specie or five thousand pounds paper, and to return to their owner any horses in their possession which shall have been impressed by them and valued at a higher price than the foregoing, taking in the Certificates which have been given” (same).

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